This article was originally published on www.nett.com.au
How are you keeping up with all the Facebook changes? As a small business, getting your strategy right for social media takes some dedicated focus. Then, just when you think you have your social media set up and running, Facebook goes and changes the functionality!
Whilst this can be frustrating, it isn’t always a bad thing. This article will help you navigate the new features and choose what is right for your business. Just because Facebook jumps, doesn’t mean you have to follow!
Here are seven changes Facebook has made in the last month, along with a hot tip on how you might use each feature in your business:
The day Facebook announced pre-scheduling there was a heard a sigh of relief from around the world, from social media practitioners and business owners alike. There are other scheduling options, however Facebook penalizes these third party posts by up to 70%, reducing your posts’ chance of being seen. Now you can schedule from right within Facebook. The functionality is a little clunky, but it gives small business owners the opportunity to plan their posts ahead and make their Facebook efforts more strategic and less time consuming.
Hot tip: Spend some time at the start of each week (or even each month) and schedule a content post that is not time dependent, will add value and will encourage engagement. These posts can be quotes, hints, tips or facts. Schedule them for various times (so it doesn’t look scheduled) and that way you know that every day at least one post will go up. Then, post on an ad hoc basis as your marketing or other timely posts (such as latest news) happens. This will keep your posts regular and also make sure that your content is timely and relevant.
2. Promoted posts
This feature allows you to pay a nominal amount to have one of your posts seen by more fans. The way the Facebook algorithm works means that your posts only ever get seen by a percentage of your fans – you can see that figure in the insights panel of your page. By choosing to pay a selected amount (ranging from $5 to $100), your post will be seen in more of your fans’ news feeds.
There are a couple of things to note: promoted posts are only available for business pages with more than 400 likes; the feature is only available for posts less than three days old; your promoted post will show that it is ‘sponsored’; and…
Hot tip: Your success as a business on Facebook relies on engagement. If your posts are already being seen by 30–40% of your fan base, then you probably don’t need promoted posts. If it is down around 10%, then promoting a post that is likely to get ‘likes’, shares and comments, can be a great way to give your engagement a boost.
3. Facebook offers
These have been around for a little while now, but there is still some confusion about how they work. Your business page needs to be set up as a ‘Local Business’ to have the Offer feature available. You can change this in your Info tab.
You choose the Offer, the timeframe and the terms and conditions. Once you publish the offer, it shows in your fans’ Newsfeed. After a person redeems your offer, it shows in their Ticker (real-time information panel) and a story is created on their Timeline, as well as the option to share it with their friends.
Hot tip: Consider adding a free gift to a sale rather than just providing a discount. This means that you get the sale and give something away, rather than losing money out of your pocket. It looks better for your brand, too! You can also use the Promoted Post feature to promote and Offer and you can Pin your Offer to the top of your Timeline – all little things that give you greater reach and engagement.
4. One time only!
Are you one of the thousands of businesses that created a unique or vanity URL for your page and wish that you could have changed it? Now you can. But just once! Go to www.facebook.com/usernames, select the page you wish to change, and make the change.
Hot tip: Your vanity URL should be short and descriptive of your business. This is what you will use when your URL is on printed material, so it should be easy to remember and easy to type into the web address field.
There have been some significant changes to Facebook advertising that give you more control and greater options for how you advertise your business page, posts or offers. We’ll write a future post on the different types of Facebook advertising and each of their unique features.
Hot tip: Use advertising to encourage Likes on your page rather than taking them off to your website. If you can get a Like on Facebook you have far more regular contact with the person than with a quick visit to your website, even if you do capture their email.
There are also many other new features, which are more about personal profiles than business ones. You might want to explore the new emoticons in Facebook chat. You can now edit comments you make on posts, rather than delete them, and Facebook seems to be testing a new voice/call function, indicating that you might be able to chat to people through Facebook.
In upcoming Facebook news: There is rumour of a Facebook ‘Want’ button, which would allow your fans to click ‘Want’ on your products. This will be part of a big push by Facebook to crack the social commerce space, which, to date, has had limited success.
Stay tuned for more exciting adventures into the world of Facebook changes! Do you like the changes? Any frustrations?